Friday, March 30, 2018

The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special

Director - Tom Sheppard (The Grand Slams, Robot Chicken DC Comics Special)
Starring - Andrew Lincoln (Canterbury Tales, Love Actually), Jon Bernthal (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Punisher), and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Other Side of the Door, Prison Break)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Comedy/Horror
Tagline - "Look Who's Walking"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Horror is a popular genre.  It started to become more mainstream when The Twilight Saga was released.  Teenage girls and people who generally disregarded the genre fell in love with the characters and soon was romanticizing about supernatural creatures.  Soon networks and production companies was scrambling to grab the next horror property.  Enter The Walking Dead.  I was a fan of the comic and loved the show until the fourth season when it entered a stale rut with nothing new happening or it used the same formula season after season.  I've skipped a few seasons only to pick it up recently with the introduction of Neagan.  Now, I enjoy the show somewhat.  However, one show I never tire of is Adult Swim's Robot Chicken.  This show has proven time and time again that it can deliver the laughs.  Not long ago Robot Chicken released a Walking Dead special.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to laugh at these parodies.  I was lucky enough to get a review copy.
     This special follows Nerd as he attends a Walking Dead museum to look at artifacts from the Walking Dead and hear theories about their origins and what actually happened.  Here he meets an elderly Carl who tells him everything he is being told is a lie.  Carl then shows Nerd what really happened to the tune of normal Robot Chicken segments.

     I knew Robot Chicken was going to parody aspects of the show that many criticize.  Some of the segments worked and a few were just trying hard.  The voice acting in this one is typical Robot Chicken style.  We see some of the regular voices like Seth Green but we also get some of the cast of The Walking Dead making cameos.  The voice acting was not the best and a few segments made me thing the cast was just ask to record some audio with no context as to the situation.  The segments were fun and really added to the Walking Dead stories.  Some were actual parodies of situations that happened in the show while others poked fun at the cast that many fans see in memes.  Some of these were really funny while some was trying way too hard to be funny which came across as desperate.  The special only runs 22 minutes but even then it feels too long.  Finally, the special has plenty of blood and gore.  These are done in a comedic fashion in standard Robot Chicken style but they are still fun to look at especially when you put them in context to the story.   Overall, The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special has its moments.  Just like with the show TWD, the segments do get a little repetitive but it still delivers a laugh which is all you can ask for.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Dragonfly for Each Corpse

Director - Leon Klimovsy (Night of the Walking Dead, The Dracula Saga)
Starring - Paul Naschy (Night of the Howling Beast, Horror Kung-Fu Theater), Erika Blanc (Kill Baby...Kill!, The Bad Child), and Angel Aranda (Planet of the Vampires, Bullets Dont Argue)
Release Date - 1974
Genre - Horror/Drama
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     As my Paul Naschy marathon continues I make my way through the second collection from Scream Factory one film at a time.  I had just finished up what most consider to be his best film, Hunchback of the Morgue.  The film is a fantastic film but the lack of Naschy was a bit underwhelming.  The next film in the set takes us into Naschy's rare appearance in the giallo sub-genre.  The film, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse was released in 1974.  The film went by many names and has become known as an exceptional giallo.  I'm typically not a fan of giallos outside of the works of Dario Argento but Naschy was able to pull it off and make it work.
     The film follows a police detective Scaporalla (Naschy) who is tasks with investigating a series or murders.  Someone has been killing prostitutes and hookers on the street while wearing a hood and fashionably red pants.  His ties, through his girlfriend, takes him through the fashion world through a prostitution ring to stop the killer before they can strike again.

     I was damn shocked to discover Naschy in a giallo and I was even more shocked to find that I liked a giallo outside of Dario Argento.  The film lacked style that I typically liked in a giallo but the story submerged itself in the murder mystery story line that I like.  The acting in this one is great.  We once again see Paul Naschy deliver a commanding performance as the film's lead.  His character isn't over the top like some of his period pieces but he does a fantastic job as the investigator.  The films supporting cast does a fantastic job as well.  They all contribute to the story and bring to life characters that you would typically see in these types of films.  The story for this one is different.  One wouldn't expect to see a giallo set in the world of high class fashion yet hold the attention of most horror fans but this one does.  The viewer has no idea what is going on and watched every scene patiently to learn of the killer's identity.  The twists you can see coming a mile away bit it is still an effective murder mystery.  The film was cleverly written and has great pacing.  Finally, the film has classic giallo type kills.  The kills we get are fun for the style of film but are easily forgettable.  The special effects we get work for the film itself but in any other film they would have been laughed at.  Overall, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse is a fun giallo that fans of the sub-genre and Naschy alike will enjoy.  It has a solid pace and the story is fun.  Check it out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Trailer Town

Director - Giuseppe Andrews (Touch Me in the Morning, Period Piece)
Starring - Bill Nowlin (Tater Tots, Who Flung Poo?), Stan Patrick, and Walt Dongo (Ants, Dad's Chicken)
Release Date - 2003
Genre - Comedy
Tagline - "How far would you go to defend your trailer?"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     Giuseppe Andrews is a unique force in the movie community.  Andrews has starred in one of the most popular coming of age comedies, Detroit Rock City before playing an iconic role in the cult hit 2001 Maniacs.  However, Andrews is better known for his role in Cabin Fever and the sequel.  Most people don't know is that Andrews is also a no budget director is several dozen films under his belt.  Several of his experimental and exploitation flicks has been released by Troma.  After I watched Jefftowne last week for my first episode of Tromatic Thursday it was only fitting to follow that up with Andrews' Trailer Town.  This hixploitation flick is the second film in the Toxic Twins Pak.  What the fuck did I just watch?!
     The film follows a group of people who live in a trailer park as they confess their love for each other and brag about sexual conquests.

     I had no idea what Trailer Town was about but I could not wait to watch.  Sadly, before I started Tromatic Thursday I didn't really have the time to watch Troma movies for fun.  Trailer Town was not the film I was expecting but it did offer some laughs.  The acting in this one is horrible.  The cast is literally reading from a sheet of paper or something like it off screen with no character development or attempt to gather emotion.  Instead, they smile the whole time and read carelessly from the paper.  The acting may be bad but it still brought many laughs which only fits this film.  The story for this one is not there.  The film doesn't have a story, character development, or a real end.  The film consists of scenes between characters reading their lines.  That is it.  The film starts out funny with the dialogue but quickly runs its course by the 30 minute mark making it difficult to finish.  Finally, this one is bloody and violent so those of you wanting blood will not find it here.  Instead, it is a crudely acted and edited but captures the trailer park lifestyle.  Overall, Trailer Town is a funny film but reuses the same routine over and over again resulting in a stale film.  The lack of story renders it almost unwatchable.  If you want a laugh with some friends after a few beers toss this one but tackling it sober will result in a bad time.

Hunchback of the Morgue

Director - Javier Aguirre (Mother's Sins, Count Dracula's Great Love)
Starring - Paul Naschy (Night of the Werewolf, Tomb of the Werewolf), Rosanna Yanni (The Amazons, Fangs of the Living Dead), and Victor Barrera (The Terrorist, Green Inferno)
Release Date - 1973
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "A freak of nature whose crimes go beyond your wildest terrors"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Horror has been a popular genre for well over a century.  Hell, even master inventor Thomas Edison made his own adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in 1910.  Since then there has been countless legends that made a name for themselves in the genre.  Names like Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Tom Savini, George A. Romero, John Carpenter and so on has entertained many a generation of horror fans.  With that being said, there is several amazing icons that contributed so much to horror that doesn't get the respect as the names above.  Once such name is Paul Naschy.  Naschy is an amazing actor and director that brought so many amazing films and characters to life.  Last year Scream Factory released the Paul Naschy Collection on blu with several amazing films from Naschy.  With the success of that release Scream has decided to release a second volume.  I reached out to Scream Factory and they were kind enough to send over a review copy.  I want to thank Scream for always supporting my reviews and Horror Society.

     The film follows hunchback Wolfgang Gotho (Naschy) who is mentally slower than everyone in his small town.  Wolfgang works for the local morgue and visits the hospital everyday to see the love of his life who is dying.  The hospital staff is unable to save her and she dies.  This sends Wolfgang on a killing spree where he tortures those that made him miss her final moments before snatching her body and hiding it in the catacombs beneath the city.  He then seeks the help of a doctor to help bring her back to life.  Doctor Orla uses this to his advantage to make Wolfgang perform unspeakable acts so he can conduct his crude experiments in secret.  He convinces Wolfgang that he will resurrect his lost love as long as he does what he says but that quickly proves to be wrong when some workers destroys her body in a vat of acid sending Wolfgang into another bloody frenzy.  Wolfgang has reached the end of his rope with the doctor and wants to back out but it is too late.  The doctor has now created artificial life and Wolfgang must stop it before it kills even more people that he loves.

     I generally enjoy Paul Naschy's work.  There has been a few films of his that I did not like but for the most part his films are fantastic.  Hunchback of the Morgue is one of the few Paul Naschy films where he was not truly the star of the show and still entertains.  The acting in this one is solid but we don't get the amazing and over-the-top performance from Naschy like we typically see.  His character is mentally stunted and almost child like but can turn vicious at the drop of a dime.  He character was fun but not as flamboyant as previous roles.  The rest of the cast is great.  Their characters are outstanding.  I really enjoyed the role of Doctor Orla portrayed by Alberto Dalbes.  He stole the show and made every scene he was in his own.  I really enjoyed the cast and liked the fact that Naschy was not the center focus. This caught me off guard.  The story for this one is fun and a lot more than I was expecting.  I went into this thinking it was a flick about a killer hunchback but Wolfgang Gotho is not the monster in this and it takes half the film to realize this.  The film is a surprising when science runs amok flicks that also serves as a period piece.  I really enjoyed how this story went.  Finally, if you want gore you wont find any here.  However, the film does have some impressive make-up effects that reminded me a lot of the film Zombi...even though this film was released almost 6 year before.  Overall, Hunchback of the Morgue is a great watch.  Fans of Nashy will enjoy this unless you want a lot of Naschy then you may be disappointed.  I recommend this one.

Monday, March 26, 2018

In Memory Of

Director - Eric Stanze (Ratline, Scrapbook)
Starring - Jackie Kelly (Dope, Coup De Grace), Jason Christ (Ice from the Sun, Undertow), and Adam Ahlbrandt (Hunters, Catch of the Day)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Horror
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     A few years ago I was browsing several horror groups on Facebook when I came across a post for the film Ratline.  I started digging through the horror forums and couldn't find much on the film but my search lead be back to a friend of mine Jason Limberg.  Jason educated me on the flick and the director Eric Stanze.  He set me on the right path and I got in contact with Eric through Facebook.  Eric spoke with me some about his films and I was sent Ratline and Scrapbook to review.  Holy fucking shit.  Ratline was a fantastic film but Scrapbook is a piece of underground horror history.  Since then I have been a huge fan of Eric Stanze,.  I've collected most of his films since then.  I like a lot of indie directors but Stanze stands among as one of my favorites.  His films are more than just mindless blood and violence.  They all have a story to tell and do so in graphic detail.  A few years back Eric announce a new film title Stoplight.  This working title was soon changed to In Memory Of and featured two friends of Horror Society Haley Jay Madison and Adam Alhbrandt along with two frequent Stanze collaborators Emily Haack and Jason Christ.  This was an exciting movie and one I could not wait to see.  Sadly, time took over and I soon forgot about it until Eric reached out to me to check it out.  Instant boner!  Thank you Eric for letting me see your hard work and letting Horror Society be one of the first set of eyes on your new film.

     The film follows the young Amber (Kelly) who can't get a grip on things.  She is the youngest to ever be diagnosed with a rare mental disease and volunteers to try an experimental drug to rid her of this disease.  The experiment backfires and she finds herself in a whirlwind of hallucinations and unreal scenarios that test her sanity.  She must now make a trek across the country to find the man behind the experiment and fix her memory but is any of it actually real?
     I had no idea what to expect from Stanze.  He's released a wide range of horror films from what some consider to be the first underground horror flick to well thought out and thought provoking horror films.  Whatever In Memory Of was bringing to the table I knew I was going to be a fan of it.  I loved the acting in this but it did take me a few minutes to be sold on Jackie Kelly.  By the end of the film you will absolutely love her performance and what she brings to the table.  When the film first began she was a questionable choice for me.  I could not figure out why Stanze picked her for role but as the film progressed and you get into the meat of the story I quickly realized she was the perfect actress for the job.  I also enjoyed Jason Christ's performance.  I first saw this talented actor in Ratline and love his performance.  He is a very commanding actor and his presence is known.  He has the acting chops and the look to be the next horror icon.  With that being said, he is very well spoken and make any role his own.  Such an amazing actor.   Also, it was pretty cool seeing familiar faces like Adam Ahlbrandt and Haley Jay Madison.  Adam is mostly known for his directorial efforts but he can act when the need arises.  His performance was different to say the least.  His character is very sexual and oddly eerie which worked very well for the film.  The same can be said about Haley's performance.  She's stunning and amazing on screen.  Her performance was great and brought a great bit of tension to her scenes.  The story for this one is a little difficult to follow but if you stick with it the pay off is well worth it.  The story, which dives deep into mental illness, does take many twist and turns which forces the viewer to dedicate all his time to the film.  The story is rather complex and any moment you take your eyes off the screen you can miss key points.  The story is rather bold for the budget but Stanze is able to pull it off.  However, there was a few moments that seemed to drag on forever.  Some of the scenes were very lengthy when they didn't need to be.  This messed with the pacing of the film and can be easily fixed.  Finally, the film was surprising bloody.  Once I realized that the film was not your traditional horror film I figured it would forfeit the blood for an "intelligent" story.  That is not the case.  The film has several bloody scenes with some great practical effects.  There is one scene in particular involving a shower that I can not recommend enough.  Overall, In Memory Of is not your grandparents' horror film.  The film is a mindfuck from hell that will leave you wanting more.  Stanze has truly created a nightmare on film and I loved every second of it.  Check this out when you can!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Killing Ground

Director - Damien Power (Bat Eyes, A Burning Thing)
Starring - Harriet Dyer (The Other Guy, Black Comedy), Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road: The Series, The Fear of Darkness), Ian Meadows (Dead Lucky, Scare Campaign)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     The IFC Midnight and Scream Factory pairings have been some quality films.  Most of the films I've seen released from this team up have been fantastic.  The films may not always be good and bloody but they offer up some solid stories and some great atmosphere and tension that we really don't see anymore.  I recently watched Darkness Rising and was let down when the story, which had potential, fails to gain momentum.  I wanted to take a break from horror for a few days because of the massive let down I had just suffered but I didn't.  The next film on the chopping block was yet another IFC Midnight and Scream Factory release.  Killing Ground is a 2017 Australian horror thriller that has made a name for itself after its release.  I hoped it was better than Darkness Rising.  Thank you Scream Factory for sending this one my way!
     The film follows a young couple who go out into the Australian wilderness for a little camping.  When they arrive they find another car and a camp near theirs.  After a few days they fail to show up so they go looking for them when they come across a toddler unconscious in the woods.  They grab the child and make sure he is alright before heading back to their car where they are met by a man who states he had spoke with his family just a few nights prior.  He offers to help them look for them while she stays to tend to the child.  While they are away another man arrives and attacks her while trying to snatch the boy.  She is able to slice his wrist and he runs through the woods while the two men come across a group of bodies.  It is then they he realizes the man is a killer and plans on doing the same to them.  Now he must fight to survive while protecting his wife.
     Killing Ground is one I didn't know much about.  I really liked the simplicity of the poster but I was not expecting a film with the emotional bite that this one had.    The acting in this one is fantastic.  The film has an amazing cast that works extremely well together to create some very intense scenes.  I was really impressed with Aaron Pedersen and Aaron Glenane as the film's killers.  They literally sent chills down my spine with their lack of restraint and complete disregard for human life.  As a parent I wanted to hate them which is the highest compliment I can give to an actor playing a villain.  The story for this one is nothing new especially when you consider the location.  Wolf Creek is one of Australia's most popular horror films and its hard to see a film from here and not notice similarities between the two.  The two films do follow similar stories with people trying to enjoy a getaway but are terrorized by a psychopath woodsman that knows the area and can survive off the land.  Both films borrow from the same storyline but Killing Ground tugs on the heart strings of this old dad.  This film rivals I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday with hitting me on an emotional level.  Finally, the film isn't as bloody as you would expect but the kills we do get wreak havoc on your.  The kills don't use blood and gore to get a reaction out of the viewer.  Instead, it works you over psychologically.  The kills are well thought out and work very well with the film.  Overall, Killing Ground is a fucking kick to the nuts before ripping your heart out.  If you are a parent you may want to drink a little of the cooking sherry before tossing it in.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Director - Daniel Kraus (Ball of Wax, Sheriff)
Starring - Jeff Towne, Dave, and Kim Davis
Release Date - 1998
Genre - Documentary
Tagline - "Beer! Pornos! Wrestling! Down's Syndrome!"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     I've been a movie fan my whole life.  I grew up watching movies at my grandmother's during the week and renting some tapes to take to my house on the weekends.  Movies have always been a huge part of my life.  In late elementary school or middle school the horror bug bit me and it was a ferocious bite.  I became consumed by it.  I had to have horror and the video store had to deliver my fix.  I loved the cheesy 80s horror flicks with the awesome covers and no so awesome stories.  These movies would seduce me and leave me in a trance like state.  It was around this time that I discovered Toxie and the wonderful world of Troma.  This changed my taste in horror.  Now I have to have my horror cheap, outlandish, and sleazy.  I love Troma and I've collected their movies for several years but I never get the time to watch them due to my reviewing obligations.  I then had the idea to do a Troma review once a week just so I can check out films I've collected for year and never had the time to watch.  For the very first review for Tromatic Thursday I went with the 1998 documentary Jefftowne.
     The documentary follows Jeff Towne who is a 40 year old theater attendant who has Down's Syndrome.  Jeff was left at the hospital when he was born and was adopted.  Now he lives with his adoptive mother who is pushing 100 years old.  They have no real source of income but she is living on the hope that they win the publishers clearinghouse.  Jeff spends his day flirting with the girls he works with, watching wrestling, drawing crude porn, and drinking.


     I had no idea what Jefftowne was about.  I was under the impression it was an actual film with a story but I was greeted with a very bleak documentary that I absolutely loved.  The subject manner is something that I would normally not check out on my own but with Troma branded across it I had to.  I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed the film.  The interviews in this one really goes in depth with Jeff, his home life, and how people react to him.  Most people would assume he was unable to provide for himself or baby him because he does have DS.  However, friends of Jeff knows he is fully capable of taking care of himself and using his DS as a crutch to have people do things for him.  Jeff doesn't have any family except his adopted mother but the people he works with, especially the theater manager, looks out for him to ensure he is well taken care of.  The film itself is crudely put together which showcases the film's lack of budget.  This doesn't make the film difficult to watch.  In fact, I really enjoyed the lo-fi aspect of the documentary.  It really added to the darkness of the film.  Not everyone has the perfect life and this documentary dives deep into the working poor and mentally ill.  Finally, the editing in this one is solid considering the equipment the film used.  The topic within the documentary flows very well and we get smooth transitions.  It's not the best editing but it does fit the look and feel of the film.  Overall, Jefftowne may not be the typical Troma film but it is fucking fantastic.  Fans of unusual cinema and strange documentaries need to check this one out.  Check it out.